In my ideal world I would wake up every morning, throw a bunch of veggies in a blender and some herbs for good measure, then drink it down like it was nectar from the gods. My mouth would be happy and my body would be happy. The problem with this scenario is that I gag at the taste of trendy “green drinks”.
It isn’t for lack of trying that my taste buds reject nearly every veggie or herb I throw in a smoothie. In fact, I have wasted many a glass of perfectly good fruits and veggies because I just couldn’t stomach it. Last year I tried a juice cleanse, and thinking I could handle the semi-pro version, threw myself to a pack of green juice wolves. It was a long few days, but I felt great and even weakened my gag reflex! Since then I have tried to look for ways to subtly add nutrients to my morning routine without upsetting my sensitive taste buds.
Here are a few tips to making a healthy, delicious meal in a glass:
- Spinach is your best friend. This leafy green is low in calories, but extremely rich in vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. What is even better is that it has virtually no taste when blended with other flavors. Once you have mastered the spinach you can move onto other leafy greens like kale or beetroot leaves.
- Add nutrients through supplements! My two favorite supplements right now are wheatgrass powder and raw maca powder. The wheatgrass does have a slightly grassy taste, but if I can enjoy it anyone can! It is filled with Vitamin A, antioxidants, fiber and has the ability to alkalize the body with its high chlorophyll content. Raw maca powder has a delightful malty taste and is supposed to boost energy and is also known to help balance hormones.
- Protein makes all the difference! For a long time I steered clear of protein powder because I felt it was (1) only for bodybuilders and (2) a bit mysterious. After deciding not to consume land animals a few years ago and eating fish only every now and then, I really have to be creative with my protein intake. This led me to some research and a product that I have come to really love. Vega! I started with their chocolate smoothie and have gradually made my way to the vanilla shake. I love it because in every scoop/serving there are 15g of protein, 1 billion probiotics, 1.5g omega-3s, 6g fiber, 3 servings of greens and the same amount of antioxidants as 2.7 cups of blueberries. Definitely find what works for you and do your research because there are some great products out there!
- Choose like-colors. This may sound a bit silly, but with the limitless number of ingredients that are available, making a smoothie can be pretty overwhelming! I like to stick with like-colors. For instance if I decided to make an “orange” smoothie, I might put in oranges, carrots, bee pollen, maca, etc. If I were making a “red” smoothie I might put in beets, berries etc. I think you probably get the gist. This also ensures that you don’t always end up with a brown, ugly smoothie.
- Most importantly: make your taste buds happy! I had a friend in college who would gag down a bag of broccoli just so that he could say he ate his vegetables. My response to that is find a vegetable you can enjoy, I’m sure there is at least ONE out there! Eating is about nourishing our bodies, but it should be an experience we enjoy. If you put a bunch of stuff in a smoothie that tastes horrible (to you) then you will begin to associate health with those bad tastes which is never a good thing!
I would love to hear about your smoothie tricks!